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Intrinsic Mechanisms Limiting the Use of Carbon Fiber Composite Pressure Vessels

[+] Author and Article Information
Alain Thionnet

Mines ParisTech,
Centre des Matériaux,
CNRS UMR 7633,
BP 87, Evry Cedex 91003, France;
Département IEM,
Université de Bourgogne,
9, Avenue Alain Savary,
Dijon 21000, France
e-mails: alain.thionnet@u-bourgogne.fr;
alain.thionnet@ensmp.fr

Anthony Bunsell

Mines ParisTech,
Centre des Matériaux,
CNRS UMR 7633,
BP 87, Evry Cedex 91003, France
e-mail: anthonybunsell@gmail.com

Heng-Yi Chou

Mines ParisTech,
Centre des Matériaux,
CNRS UMR 7633,
BP 87, Evry Cedex 91003, France
e-mail: hyc1984tw@gmail.com

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received June 30, 2015; final manuscript received February 22, 2016; published online July 18, 2016. Editor: Young W. Kwon.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 138(6), 060910 (Jul 18, 2016) (5 pages) Paper No: PVT-15-1139; doi: 10.1115/1.4032914 History: Received June 30, 2015; Revised February 22, 2016

The viscoelastic properties of the resins used in carbon fiber composite pressure vessels introduce time effects which allow damage processes to develop during use under load. A detailed understanding of these processes has been achieved through both experimental and theoretical studies on flat unidirectional specimens and with comparisons with the behavior of pressure vessels. Under steady pressures, the relaxation of the resin in the vicinity of earlier fiber breaks gradually increases the sustained stress in neighboring intact fibers and some eventually break. The rate of fiber failure has been modeled based only on physical criteria and shown to accurately predict fiber failure leading to composite failure, as seen in earlier studies. Under monotonic loading, failure is seen to be initiated when the earlier random nature of breaks changes so as to produce clusters of fiber breaks. Under steady loading, at loads less than that producing monotonic failure, greater damage can be sustained without immediately inducing composite failure. However, if the load level is high enough failure does eventually occur. It has been shown, however, that below a certain load level the probability of failure reduces asymptotically to zero. This allows a minimum safety factor to be quantitatively determined taking into account the intrinsic nature of the composite although other factors such as accidental damage or manufacturing variations need to be assessed before such a factor can be proposed as standards for pressure vessels.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Typical experimental cumulative probability P(σR) for carbon fiber strength σR

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Fig. 2

Experimental scatter of cumulative number of events obtained by AE for (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens under sustained loading at 75% of the experimental failure strength

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Fig. 3

Experimental scatter of cumulative number of events obtained by AE for (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens under sustained loading at 80% of the experimental failure strength

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Fig. 4

Experimental scatter of cumulative number of events obtained by AE for (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens under sustained loading at 85% of the experimental failure strength

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Fig. 5

Experimental scatter of cumulative number of events obtained by AE for (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens under sustained loading at 90% of the experimental failure strength

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Fig. 6

Experimental scatter of fiber breaks density for (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens coming from the same plate and monitored using AE. Sustained loading at 96% of the experimental failure strength [43].

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Fig. 7

Typical experimental cumulative probability of fiber volume fraction for three (0 deg) carbon/epoxy specimens coming from the same plate

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Fig. 8

Results of simulations. Influence of different Weibull functions of fiber volume fraction. Numerical scatter of fiber breaks density. Sustained loading at 94% of the numerical failure strength.

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Fig. 9

Results of simulations. Sustained loading at the different load levels FSL = X% × 〈FML〉, 〈FML〉 is the numerical failure strength in case of monotonic loading. Numerical scatter of the time-to-failure tSL function of the level of the sustained loading.

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Fig. 10

Analysis of the numerical results (Fig. 9)

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